London Leads Way in Space For Cycling Campaign

Councillors Lead Way In Backing Safer Cycling Plan


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

Councillors in London seem keener than their counterparts elsewhere in Britain to back calls for the creation of spaces dedicated for cyclists, a measure that could help reduce the toll of deaths and injuries suffered by riders across the country.

This finding has arisen from analysis of responses to the campaign by cycling lobby group CTC, which emailed elected representatives with the question: "Will you support Space for Cycling and seek the funding to make it happen?"

Aided by the London Cycling Campaign, the initiative has received pledges of support from 43 per cent of those representing wards in the 32 metropolitan boroughs.

Outside the capital, the highest rate of positive response was 36 per cent in Newcastle. Other major urban areas also saw the strongest support for cycling space, with the rest of the top eight including three of the Greater Manchester authorities - the City of Manchester, City of Salford and the borough of Trafford - as well as the cities of Bristol, Edinburgh and Birmingham.

Chair of Newcastle's cycling campaign group Newcycling Katja Leyendecker commented: "Newcastle, for once, is top of the league, and for a good reason. We at Newcycling are hard-liners, not one for compromising, and it would be a rare occasion we congratulate our councillors - but this must be one."

She called on the council to go one step further and adopt the Space for Cycling blueprint of cycle-friendly route designs.

CTC's interactive map of responses by councillors provided a wider indication that it support for the initiative is strongest in major urban areas. Many of the areas where none at all had signed up were very rural authorities, as were some where the positive response had been five per cent or less.

However, some of the low or zero response rates still appeared in highly-populated areas. This included the cities of Glasgow, Liverpool, Leicester, Nottingham, Coventry, Swansea, Sunderland, the main cities on the south coast and the three Black Country boroughs.  

Expert Opinion
Road cycling is a hot topic in the UK at the moment with the Tour De France Grand Depart due in Yorkshire next week but there is still work to do to improve the safety of cyclists in our major cities.

“We’ve seen many clients over the past few years who have been serious injured while cycling on Britain’s roads and the impact on their lives and the lives of their family and friends can be devastating.

“In a collision between a HGV and a cyclist there is only going to be one winner and we need to do more to protect vulnerable road users. Creating extra space for cyclists to be able to use the roads more safely could be a major force for reducing the number of accidents, as well as educating all road users on how best to share the space that does currently exist.”
Colin Ettinger, Partner